Everything else suddenly seems more pressing, interesting and worthy of our time than actually sitting down, focusing and getting something done. Yet we all want to get ahead, and most of us view our jobs as the primary vehicle for doing so.
But like anything in life, you’ve got to be active and productive to get where you want to go, whether that’s working for an employer or owning your own business.
Whatever you do, you need to hunker down every day and maintain a high productivity level.
Unfortunately, we live in a time of seemingly endless distractions. What’s odd is that those distractions are largely caused by tools that have been created to help us increase productivity. Instead of doing what they were intended to do, most of the gadgets and productivity tools tend to shift our focus and cause us to be extremely ADD when it’s time to work.
So what’s the solution — ditch your iPhone?
Certainly technology has its place in our society, and that isn’t going to change, so to just throw it all off wouldn’t help matters either.
We need to find a balance. We need to come up with ways to increase our productivity levels and focus on work.
Here are a few ideas that might help:
1. Get to Work Early — This might sound like more of a time-management tactic, and it certainly can be. But hear me out on this one.
Most people will tend to be more alert and less distracted early in the morning. In fact, some of the most productive members of society (like Darren Rowse of Problogger, for example) have said that they’re more focused and able to finish more work in the mornings.
It’s also worth considering that the earlier in the morning you’re working, the less distractions there are in general.
There’s less news breaking, less sports info to check out and fewer RSS feeds coming through. Plus, probably no one will be texting or calling before the sun comes up
Even if you just start your day a couple of hours early, you’ll have at least two solid hours of relative peace and quiet, whether you work at home or in the office.
2. Turn off notifications on your phone — Let’s face facts: You don’t need notifications popping up for every app on your phone. Besides, we all know the phone is nearly impossible to ignore. That fleeting glance changes your train of thought and takes your mind off whatever you were doing before you were interrupted by your Bass Fishing app’s newest rollout.
Turn that stuff off and make sure that you decide when you want to check your phone.
3. Use F11 — Most major browsers have a full-screen view feature that’s activated by pressing F11. When you have the window active and press F11, the URL, bookmark and tab bar disappear as your window goes to full screen.
If you frequently work with Google Docs, Blogger, WordPress or any other website, this is a great way to lessen the distractions of the Internet and focus on what you’re doing.
If you want a “lighter” option, consider disabling the bookmarks tab so that your favorite websites aren’t sitting there tempting you.
To sum it all up, you should try out anything you can do to stay in the rhythm of your work.
Whether that means making a major change like ditching Facebook or minor adjustments like turning off the bookmarks toolbar on your browser, it’s ultimately up to you. You’ll have to critique your own ability to concentrate and see where you’re bleeding time.
Once you remove the distractions, you might be surprised by how much you’re able to accomplish in a typical workday.